Colliders Cover According to Dickipedia, a Large Hadron Collider is a very small monkey that can run around in circles so fast, one day he'll warp back in time and impregnate a medium sized elephant with his own banana. But who read's Dick nowadays, huh? I'd rather read something by my mate C.J. instead. Here, check out this conversation I had with him only the other day, whilst chasing a small monkey with a ripe fruit.

Collider Graphic Novel On Amazon

Colliders Artwork 1) What are your own origins C.J.? Plus what path did you take in life to get to where you are today?   I grew up. Went to school (and still live) in Minnesota. And after college, I briefly taught high school English.

For my idealistic, early-twenties self; the feeling that I could spend nearly all my free time crafting my lessons and still need more time to make them really shine was too rough. I switched to substitute teaching -- which was fun -- but I found myself bringing a big binder full of stories I had started to write around to my jobs and writing at lunch and during breaks.

I began writing more and more, and I also happened to be getting way into visual art at the time. A local grad school was offering a “Comic book and Graphic Novel Writing” class, so I begged my way in and started getting serious about the format. Right after that I had the opportunity to do a 'Sports Illustrated for Kids' graphic novel. Now I make a living doing some accounting, working in the 'Twin Cities' art scene, teaching comic book classes off and on, and, of course, writing “Colliders.”

2) What inspired you to create ‘Colliders’?   I wanted to make something that satisfied on multiple layers. On the surface: we have a lot of action. But beneath that: we take care to have soulful, mind-bending concepts. And on yet another level: my illustrator's art history background and my literature education come through in some allusions to great past work in those areas.

The seeds for the specifics of the story are numerous, but I will admit to watching a lot of 'Lost' and rereading 'Watchmen' when I started writing the series. While both of those serials could do with some heavy editing, they're great examples of stories with compelling characters and exciting stories that reward closer examination.

3) If ‘Colliders’ was a song, what song would it be and why?   Ha! What a great question! Well, my illustrator and I are in a band together, so this is actually a conversation we've had a few times. I'll have to go with INXS's “Never Tear Us Apart”. It's a song that's fit for both slow dancing and for an action shootout. Plus, Michael Hutchence singing the line “two worlds collided” is perfect!

Large Hadron Collider
4) In your own words how would you describe this story?   It starts at the Large Hadron Collider where a low-level scientist, Sol, is taking a reporter, Abelia, on a tour of the facility during an important experiment. An assassin interrupts the experiment and these three lives are thrust together just as the particles in the collider are. We follow these three as the ripples of this collision impact the world at large... the implications of this experiment force us to see our origins in a new light.

5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your comic, what person would you get, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Another great question. I'll go with Brian K. Vaughan. He's a solid writer and one could do worse in terms of a celebrity endorsement. But I'm going with BKV because I gave him a couple issues last year, and part of me secretly expects people to open up our comic book and immediately fall in love and tell everyone they know to starting reading our series.

Maybe he threw them away after walking out of the room? Maybe he read 'em and wasn't impressed? Maybe they're in a giant stack of comics he's handed everyday and never gets around to? Or maybe he loved them and is scared to tell anyone because we'll steal the thunder away from “Saga”? It was a good lesson to me that you can't expect to jump too many rungs of the ladder all at once. But yeah, it would be sweet to get an email out of the blue from him saying that he digs our series... then I could go right on believing that it'll be love at first sight for everyone.

Cosplay Girls
6) What have you learned about yourself through this endeavour? And were there any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with?   One of the most fantastic and fascinating aspects of writing serialized fiction like comic books is that there's the opportunity for the story to be influenced by what the world is showing you from month to month. While I stay very far away from making my fiction a diary, I work to write from a very honest place. That may sound absurd when you're talking about an often action-y comic book, but I feel like you can see that kind of honesty in some of the great runs in comic books, even the superhero titles.

As far as obstacles, I wouldn't call it unforeseen, but the difficulty of getting people to read your book for the first time is a constant obstacle. All writers, musicians, directors, etc. wish they could reach more people, and we're no different. But we're bigger than we thought we'd be by this time, and it's thanks to the work of reviewers / interviewers and word-of-mouth that we have the readership we do.

Brian K. Vaughan Drawing
7) How did you affiliate yourself with Graphicly? And what other formats does your book come in?   We are very new to Graphicly. When we decided with this most recent issue to put all our stuff out there digitally, we did quite a bit of research about the various ways to do it. I'd read many times that the service at Graphicly was top-notch -- which is big selling point for me. So far in our brief time with them, they've been stellar. They've made Colliders available on iOS, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Google Books (whenever that comes out), and through their Web and Facebook readers.

We're available in hard-copy, although right now, most of the stores we're in are in the Twin Cities. The hard-copies can be ordered individually online through Comixpress... another company that we've been very happy with.

8) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   The people. It's impossible to express how great the people in the comic book community are. My illustrator and I always have a blast in our booth at Cons. That ability to interact with fans and potential readers face-to-face is something you don't get for the most part with other forms of fiction writing. There's no compliment bigger than someone coming up to your both saying that a friend told them to check your book out. And the comic shops in Twin Cities have been so sooo great to us. From the day we printed our first issue, they've put our book right there with the big titles.

9) If your comic had a motto, what would it be? “Where love, physics, murder, and time-travel collide”.

Ka-Bam! Couldn't have put it better myself, C.J. So there you have it, folks. 'Colliders' in a can. When you have the chance please check it out on Amazon, OK? I'm sure you'll get one hell of a kick out of it. 

COLLIDERS - WHEN COMIC'S AND CREATIVITY... COLLIDERS - WHEN COMIC'S AND CREATIVITY... Reviewed by David Andrews on March 15, 2013 Rating: 5
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